Viewpoint: Clothes for change
Pat Maillet, Editorial Writer for the Michigan Daily, wrote this piece earlier this week, which features an overview of education in America & Merit!
About 7,000 high school students will drop out of school in America today. Unfortunately, today is not a special day or some sort of organized movement. No, instead today is just another normal day that contributes to the more than 1.2 million high school dropouts per year in the United States.
With rising costs in tuition and lower incomes, fewer people are able to afford a college education. And yet, a college education has never been more important. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a person with a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $58,613 in 2008, while those with a high school diploma earned $31,283. Unfortunately, the importance of an education also has serious societal effects. High school dropouts are eight times more likely to go to prison and are 50 percent less likely to vote. We, as a society, are able to advance by allowing more people to attain a college education.
Sadly, America is becoming a land of limited opportunities for some. Take Michigan for example. African-American males in this state have the lowest high school graduation rate in the country at 33 percent. Though insufficient primary education is mostly to blame for this startling statistic, a lack of motivation toward a clear-cut goal is a pivotal reason that these youths are able to achieve so little. Due to economic restraints or a number of other reasons, these disadvantaged teenagers are never even given the chance to seize an educational opportunity.
All too often we learn about important issues that spark our interest, yet forget about them soon after we close our computer or put down the newspaper. We can’t forget the importance that education has on our society. So what can you do to help? Luckily, there is a company that not only helps fund educational opportunities for underprivileged youth, but also uses fashion to advocate for this important message.
Merit is not a normal fashion brand. Though the stylish flat brim hats, shirts or sleek logo may appear to be like any other trendy clothing line, the brand stands for so much more. Merit creates fashion forward products that help committed, disadvantaged youth attain a college education. Twenty percent of its revenue provides college scholarships for under-served youth. For every dollar you spend on a new hoodie, T-shirt or any other Merit product, 20 cents will go straight toward helping an underprivileged youth accomplish something they would have otherwise never been able to attain: a college degree.
In the coming months, the Merit website will allow people to buy products online and help contribute to this important cause. Right now, Merit is looking to expand its community by enlisting as many new members to the Merit family as possible. Go online to www.meritgoodness.com and you can join the Merit community and learn more about the importance of education and how you can sign up to receive discounts and other offers once the retail website goes live.
Rarely do we get to infuse fashion into helping a cause much larger than ourselves. By becoming a member of the Merit community and buying a Merit product, you will be able to wear a brand that stands for so much more than mere clothing. All Merit products will be recognizable with the Merit badge. This badge symbolizes not only the incredible effort that you have become a part of, but also the community and the family that Merit has become. Others will simply see trendy clothes, but you’ll know that what may be a flashy hat for some is the opportunity to gain a future for another.
Join The Merit Community
Merit is building an exclusive online community of fashionable givers. Get your free membership, by invite only, for Merit’s viral invite site!